Looking for a spirited way to kick off the new year? Ring in 2013 at Japp's with a round of their signature cocktails complimented with Middle West Spirits' new line of whiskeys. Known primarily for their OYO Vodkas, the company recently expanded their selection to include small-batch bourbon, whiskey, and rye.

Based in Columbus, Middle West Spirits is the first micro-distillery in Ohio to operate since Prohibition. Created by a fourth generation distiller, the brand OYO (pronounced "O-Why-O") was developed after the Iroquois word for the Ohio River.

Josh explaining the history of Middle West Spirits.

During the tasting at Japp's, Josh Daily, the representative from Middle West Spirits, described the complex flavors of their whiskeys and vodkas and how they are created as a craft, similar to the craft beer market. Brimming with character, these spirits are able to stand on their own without a mixer. Josh also told us plenty of stories about distilling, including some history of the Cincinnati region.

Molly Wellmann fills a barrel of OYO Rye, which will be aged at Japp's and served to customers this spring.
Fun OYO Facts:

 - While vodka has been around for over 600 years, it only arrived in America in the 1950s.

 - Out of the 437 distilleries open in the United States, Middle West Spirits was #56 to set up shop.

 - Before Prohibition, there were 81 distilleries in Cincinnati alone; far outnumbering the city's breweries. It was also more influential in manufacturing than Kentucky's bourbon trail.

 - OYO whiskey the second 100% wheat whiskey created in the United States.

 - Middle West Spirits uses 1.5 million pounds of wheat to create their spirits, all which are sourced from northern Ohio. The company is able to support seven local farms.